From John Hayward at Human Events: Uncle Sam’s Hoarded, Wasted Wealth (http://www.humanevents.com/2013/01/17/uncle-sams-hoarded-wasted-wealth/)
Note: Cut and paste the URL, because WordPress isn’t allowing me to create links, probably because of the problem with Java)
Here’s an excerpt:
How much is all this worth?
IER estimated the worth of the government’s oil and gas technically recoverable resources to the economy to be $128 trillion, about 8 times our national debt. Further, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that state and national coffers could generate almost $150 billion over a 10 year period from royalties, rents, and bonuses if these resources were immediately opened to oil and gas leasing. The CBO study estimates are considered to be conservative when compared to historical data and estimates by other analysts and do not consider the earnings from taxes paid by these industries. IER estimated the government’s coal resources in the lower 48 states to be worth $22.5 trillion for a total worth to the economy of fossil fuels on federal lands of $150.5 trillion, over 9 times our national debt. Most of the coal resources in Alaska are deemed to be federally owned and are estimated to be 60 percent higher than those in the entire lower 48 states but are not included in these estimates.
(Emphases mine.) But instead, we allow the government to hoard these resources, through a combination of bureaucratic inertia, careless neglect, and ideology. Instead, we are told that we must surrender more of our property to improve the federal balance sheet… and big-spending politicians barely pause to pay lip service to “deficit reduction” before eagerly running up the next stack of bills they will later expect us to pay off. It’s long past time for the American people to haul Uncle Sam into bankruptcy court and make him start selling off some of these assets, rather than tolerating his latest demand for higher credit card limits and a bigger allowance. Perhaps some enterprising Republican should introduce a bill requiring the federal government to sell off enough assets to pay down the national debt, or at least wipe out the federal deficit for the next ten years.